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rft63

Changing Expectations

13 posts in this topic

One very funny and ironic part of this game, at least to me, is as I get better we realize how far I have to go. Just the other day I felt like I scraped the ball around and shot an 81. After the round I was disappointed because I felt I didn't hit the ball well. A year ago I would have been telling everyone how good a round I had and shot an 81. It seems like the better I get the more I realize their is so much more to learn. I understand that as a 10 handicap there is lots of room for improvement, but it just seems ironic that the better I get the more I realize how much I stink.
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One very funny and ironic part of this game, at least to me, is as I get better we realize how far I have to go. Just the other day I felt like I scraped the ball around and shot an 81. After the round I was disappointed because I felt I didn't hit the ball well. A year ago I would have been telling everyone how good a round I had and shot an 81. It seems like the better I get the more I realize their is so much more to learn. I understand that as a 10 handicap there is lots of room for improvement, but it just seems ironic that the better I get the more I realize how much I stink.

I think the "changing expectations" is really what drives people like you and myself to go ahead and work on our game to improve.. You will find that not everyone is like that really.  Some people are happy with shooting under 100 and that is their only goal (i.e. not an intermediate one like it was for me)!

I actually shot a personal best +0 over 9 holes at the executive course I play.. am I happy.. yes.. do I think that I should have actually shot -3?  YES!!!  and my expectations just keep on "CHANGING"!

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I think the reason for it boils down to this:  As you get better, you still hit good shots (I mean really good ones), maybe 1 out of 10 times?  The thing is, your good shots keep getting better.  You hit that one good one, and want to make that the norm.  Once you do make that the norm, your 1 out of 10 good shot has become even better yet.  You never quite get to where you think you should be capable of playing.

At least that is the way it works for me.

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I think the reason for it boils down to this:  As you get better, you still hit good shots (I mean really good ones), maybe 1 out of 10 times?  The thing is, your good shots keep getting better.  You hit that one good one, and want to make that the norm.  Once you do make that the norm, your 1 out of 10 good shot has become even better yet.  You never quite get to where you think you should be capable of playing.

At least that is the way it works for me.

I think if it was just your 1 good shot out of 10 that is getting better that you will really never see that much of an improvement.. Don't you think that even though your 1 good shot is getting better, but it is also that your bad shots are not that bad anymore?  In the end it seems to me like that is what drives your improvement.

For example, if as a beginner you duff 9 out of 10 and that 1 shot you hit was getting to 3/4 the way to the par 3 green.  Now you gone ahead and improved a little bit I don't look at it as if 9 out of 10 are still duffed and now you are able to hit that par 3 green with the 10th.  Rather I look it as now you are duffing 3 shots, 5 shots are 3/4 of the way and 2 of the shots got to the green.. Then as you advance so does your expectation of what you can do.. i.e. 6 of 10 get on the green, 2 barely miss the green and 2 of them are birdie opportunities..

What do you think?

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 14ledo81

I think the reason for it boils down to this:  As you get better, you still hit good shots (I mean really good ones), maybe 1 out of 10 times?  The thing is, your good shots keep getting better.  You hit that one good one, and want to make that the norm.  Once you do make that the norm, your 1 out of 10 good shot has become even better yet.  You never quite get to where you think you should be capable of playing.

At least that is the way it works for me.

I think if it was just your 1 good shot out of 10 that is getting better that you will really never see that much of an improvement.. Don't you think that even though your 1 good shot is getting better, but it is also that your bad shots are not that bad anymore?  In the end it seems to me like that is what drives your improvement.

For example, if as a beginner you duff 9 out of 10 and that 1 shot you hit was getting to 3/4 the way to the par 3 green.  Now you gone ahead and improved a little bit I don't look at it as if 9 out of 10 are still duffed and now you are able to hit that par 3 green with the 10th.  Rather I look it as now you are duffing 3 shots, 5 shots are 3/4 of the way and 2 of the shots got to the green.. Then as you advance so does your expectation of what you can do.. i.e. 6 of 10 get on the green, 2 barely miss the green and 2 of them are birdie opportunities..

What do you think?

I agree.  That is what I was trying to convey.  Maybe I did not come across clear.

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No there is a big difference in the quality of the misses as you get better. It's not just a score expectation. When I played bogey golf 3 poor shots to the green and 2 putts felt like a victory. Now if I short side it and don't get up and down, or at least give myself a legit chance to, I walk away thinking about the missed opportunity because it's usually just one very poor shot that led to the same score. The opportunities to score better should be there as you improve. You won't always convert it but it will be different than duffing it around the course even if the scores aren't drastically different. A golfer capable of breaking 80 plays differently than one hitting a steady stream of poorly struck shots consistently even if they shoot them same score at the end of the day. It's a bad day for one and a good day for the other.
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You will always felt like you left a shot or two on the golf course no matter what level you play at. It's important to remember the good shots and remember the bad ones though.

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It's funny you mention this because I was thinking during my last few rounds there are some things I'm already taking for granted compared to last year.  The thought of 3 putting generally doesn't cross my mind, mis-hitting a chip or having a really wild wedge or 8/9 iron shot, or failing to get out of a bunker on the first try.  This is not to say the ball always goes where I want but at least in these cases I'm not sweating bullets before I even make contact with the ball.

I suppose I should try to step back and look at it as a sign of progress but unfortunately I'm a really greedy dude.  I have the attitude that I should be able to watch a video of Tiger hitting a ball and copy it and play PGA level golf in 2 or 3 years.  lol...

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I think the "changing expectations" is really what drives people like you and myself to go ahead and work on our game to improve.. You will find that not everyone is like that really.  Some people are happy with shooting under 100 and that is their only goal (i.e. not an intermediate one like it was for me)! I actually shot a personal best +0 over 9 holes at the executive course I play.. am I happy.. yes.. do I think that I should have actually shot -3?  YES!!!  and my expectations just keep on "CHANGING"!

My changing expectations have driven me to seek professional help, I had my first ever official golf lesson yesterday. Now I really see how much I have to work on. Maybe one day I can shoot that even par nine like you did.

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Since I started my lessons i have plenty of expectations ... The main one now is to take the range to the course ... I swing great on the range ... So when I suk with a topped shot I am disappointed ... My expectation is to at least make contact ... I may miss distance ... Or perhaps left or right ... But I still should make contact!
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You will always felt like you left a shot or two on the golf course no matter what level you play at. It's important to remember the good shots and remember the bad ones though.

I agree with this. It's what makes golf great and so hard and keeps us pushing to get better. I could go out and shoot even tomorrow and I would remember the 3 putt I had because I didn't judge the speed well enough to get over the ridge. Or the short chip that I was thinking about making and instead hit short and 2 putted. And the next day I will be on the range, on the green or on the internet working on those shots. And I don't think it's bad to have high expectations or ones that continually get higher as long as you are working on your game and not just thinking because you go and swing a club it will naturally get better.

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No there is a big difference in the quality of the misses as you get better. It's not just a score expectation. When I played bogey golf 3 poor shots to the green and 2 putts felt like a victory. Now if I short side it and don't get up and down, or at least give myself a legit chance to, I walk away thinking about the missed opportunity because it's usually just one very poor shot that led to the same score. The opportunities to score better should be there as you improve. You won't always convert it but it will be different than duffing it around the course even if the scores aren't drastically different. A golfer capable of breaking 80 plays differently than one hitting a steady stream of poorly struck shots consistently even if they shoot them same score at the end of the day. It's a bad day for one and a good day for the other.

Truer words were never spoken. The quality of misses definitely improves, and that leads to a certain level of expectation in your performance.

Shot an 81 the other day and I couldn't stop thinking of the shots I missed. Sometime ago, I would have shed tears of joy for shooting 81, but now perception has changed a bit. Shooting an 89 now feels like I shot 109.

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I am at the point where I generally am high 80's, with the occasion round of 92-93. Had you told me two years ago that's where I'd be, I would have been happy. But at the moment, all I can think about are the missed opportunities out there that could have gotten me under an 80. Doesn't matter what I shoot, there will always be missed opportunities for a lower score. That's the beauty, and the curse, of golf.

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